UNITED STATES FLEET
DESTROYERS, BATTLE FORCE
U.S.S. Ralph Talbot (390)
December 12, 1941
||The Commanding Officer.
||The Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet.
||(1) The Commander Destroyer Division Eight.
(2) The Commander, Destroyer Squadron Four.
(3) The Commander, Destroyers Battle Force.
||Action Taken During the Air Raid Attack, Dec. 7, 1941.
||(A) Sketch of harbor showing where planes were believed shot down by Ralph Talbot. [not attached]
The USS Ralph Talbot was moored bow to southward to buoy X-11 with the Patterson alongside to port and the Henley to starboard.
- Under way at 0900 and passed sea buoy No. 1 at 0934.
- Expended 150 rounds 5"/38 caliber and 1500 rounds .50 caliber.
- Two planes that this vessel was firing on were seen to crash and another started to smoke badly but due to other approaching planes its further flight was not observed. One plane dove low over the bridge and was hit by our forward .50 caliber machine guns. It was seen to crash along the shore by Pearl City, marked A on the enclosed sketch. Other ships were also firing at this plane. While standing out the after 5"/38 caliber guns fired on planes attacking the Curtis. One plane was seen to fall to pieces just after gun No. 3 fired and it fell in the vicinity of the place Marked B. The Curtis was undoubtedly firing on these planes.
- There were no personnel or material casualties due to enemy bombing or machine gun fire. The JA talker on the bridge had his arm grazed by a .30 caliber machine gun bullet fired by a plane.
- All hands behaved excellently. CHAVIES, Edward J. Cox., and MARSHALL, Robert L., Sea2c., are worthy of special mention. Chavies went down the anchor chain hand over hand and swam out to the buoy and tripped the pelican hook as the motor whaleboat was slow in reaching the buoy to let go our chain. This was during a period of much machine gun fire by enemy planes. MARSHALL, a new man, was in No. 3 handling room sending up shells. One shell started to drop from the rack and as he had his arms full he tried to put his foot under the falling shell. He believed that it might explode if it dropped to the deck. Fortunately only one toe was mashed and he kept right on with his work until a lull in the action when he requested help.
RALPH EARLE, Jr.
Source: Enclosure (E) to CINCPAC action report Serial 0479 of 15 February 1942, World War II action reports, Modern Military Branch, National Archives and Records Administration, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740.